“We are not going to conduct any major new operations against the militants over the next 12 months,” Abbas told the BBC. “The Pakistan army is overstretched, and it is not in a position to open any new fronts.”

Abbas later revised his remarks, telling reporters who were traveling with U.S. Secretary of Defense Robert Gates that operations would have to wait “six months to a year.” The military didn’t respond to a request from McClatchy Newspapers for clarification…

Pakistan’s military has argued that it must first tackle the extremist groups that are threatening the country’s government before taking on militants who fight only in Afghanistan. U.S. officials argue that the extremist groups that are operating along the Pakistani-Afghan border are inextricably linked.